On Wednesday night, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi announced that it has opened e-registration for Indians who wish to travel back home from UAE amid the COVID-19 pandemic, for various reasons.
The Abu Dhabi mission had earlier clarified that these registrations were for the purpose of collecting information for the Government of India to plan the return of Indians who have been forced to remain in the Middle East due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. These are especially aimed at those who have been stranded in the UAE on visit visas or have lost their jobs or have other significant reasons to return to India.
"Public Notice for collection of data of Indians in the UAE who wish to travel to India under the present COVID 19 situation. For registration, please visit: https://cgidubai.gov.in/covid_register/" the tweet said.
"All Indian nationals in the UAE are hereby informed that the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India, Dubai, have uploaded a form for [the] collection of data to create a database of Indians who wish to travel back to India under COVID-19 situation."
The tweet was later deleted citing "technical issues" to access the website. On Thursday morning, the website is still slow to load likely due to high traffic received.
The embassy re-tweeted the official notice and said: "People wishing to register may follow the link http://www.cgidubai.gov.in/covid_register/ , pls bear with us if it takes some time for the page to load due to high traffic."
1/2 Registration in database of Indian nationals wishing to travel back to India under Covid 19 situations pic.twitter.com/0iN3w311Rh— India in Dubai (@cgidubai) April 29, 2020
2/2) People wishing to register may follow the link https://t.co/BqTnl786qA, pls bear with us if it takes some time for the page to load due to high traffic.— India in Dubai (@cgidubai) April 29, 2020
The form is to be filed by a single individual at a time. Families and companies need to fill separate forms for each member.
Apart from personal particulars, applicants have to provide a "compelling reason for travelling back to India" in the form and the "status of their COVID test" (positive, negative or test not done).
The Embassy reiterated that filling the form is for information collection and doesn't automatically entitle a seat on a flight to India.
Applicants have to ensure that they get a "Thank you for registering with us" message as a confirmation of registration.
Earlier on Sunday, the Kerala state government had opened a website for its diaspora in the Middle East to register to return home. The registration is being accepted on www.norkaroots.org, of the state-run NORKA-Roots, the official body of diaspora.
The website had received over 1 lakh registrations, a majority from UAE, within 12 hours of the announcement. Its number of registrations as on Wednesday have crossed 3 lakh.